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Re: [MedievalSawdust] Digest Number 985

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  • Brian Tychonski
    There are exceptions to the statement below, but I think it is a reasonable summation of the current state of research. Master Will You think woodworking is
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2006
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      There are exceptions to the statement below, but I think it is a reasonable
      summation of the current state of research.
      Master Will
       
       
       
      You think woodworking is bad, you should try leatherworking. I've had people inform me that something was absolutely not period only to show them examples of the decoration technique dating back as early as the 6th century. I especially love the people who adamently argue that floral carved leather is absolutely not period, it's new world. I then start informing them that the leather necessary to carve leather wasn't even produced in the NEW world until after the colonization, Acanthus leaves as a decorative device dates back to at least the Greeks, and examples of tooled leather dates back to at least the 9th century and embossed leather back to at least the 6th century.  As most of the most intricate leather decoration came out of Moorish Spain, any period documentation would probably be illegible to most people in the SCA.
       
      I do however have copies of four books by John W Waterer who spent over 40 years studying the history of leatherworking and founded a museum in England dedicated to leatherworking . The last of these books was published posthumously in 1973. The first was published in the 50s. They have some wonderful pictures of period leather pieces. While access to the manuscripts that Waterer used is probably impossible at this point (some of his research was before WWII and a lot of Europe ended up in flames during those 6 years.) he did include pictures of a number of period hand bills and art work. I especially love the handbill with a song dedicated to the makers of leather bottels. It was the medieval version of a canteen. Lighter and more durable than ceramic or glass, and less expensive than metal, soldiers of all ranks carried them on campaign. The book actually has a photo of one that belonged to a Plantagenet prince. I've actually taught a class at collegiums on period leather decorating techniques and included documentation so people have an answer for the self appointed authenticity authority who tries to rain on their parade.
       
       
      Brian Broadaxe
       
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